Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is one of the wildlife viewing destinations in the magical Kenya and sometimes referred to as “home of the African Elephant”. Its name is derived from a Maasai word that means “salty dust”.
The park is often called “Land of Giants” because of the impressive elephants that roam the park, best for up close viewing. Amboseli was home to Echo, who is probably the most researched elephant and the subject of many books and documentaries. Echo died in 2009 when she was about 60 years old.
Amboseli is excellent for wildlife viewing, four of the Big Five (excluding rhinos) can be spotted, there are outstanding elephant sightings, clear views of Kilimanjaro on clear days, excellent birding opportunities as well as a good range of accommodation types.
Best time of the year to visit Amboseli National Park is during the months of June to September and January to February because it’s during these months when the rain totals are low and therefore the park is drier.
It is during these months when animals gather around water holes and therefore easy to spot. The roads in the park have loose surface of volcanic soil that is dusty in the dry season and impassable in the wet season.
To access the park, tourists can reach either by road or air as there is a small airport in the park.
Location of Amboseli National Park
The national park is found in the Kajiado South constituency of Kajiado County in Kenya. Amboseli National Park is located 365km southeast of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The park sits against breathtaking vistas of Mt Kilimanjaro creating an awesome backdrop. Geographically the park area covers 39,206 hectares/ 395 square kilometers/ 151 sq mi along the Kenya – Tanzania border.
Attractions in Amboseli National Park
On a visit to the park, one can explore different habitats and these range from the dried up Lake Amboseli bed, wetlands, savannah and woodlands. Here are the animals that inhabit and can be seen in the park.
With great wildlife viewing opportunities the park is home to four of the Big Five sought after African game. Some of the animals found in the park include elephants, Buffalo, blue wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra, gazelle, lions, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs, giraffe, zebra, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax, dik-dik, lesser kudu, spotted hyena, nocturnal porcupine and many more. On game drives lots of animals can easily be spotted including the elephants which are the parks’ specialty. With big herds of elephants roaming the dusty plains, they spend most of their time submerged and foraging in OI Okenya swamp.
In case you want to have clear views of Mount Kilimanjaro then early morning game drives are best.
There is prolific birdlife in the park featuring 400 species. Water fowls like the pelican and Egyptian goose can be seen in the swamp below the observation hill. Other water birds include pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, hamerkops and 47 raptor species.
Around the park are the Maasai who have a very rich culture that tourists can experience their authenticity. You can visit the Maasai village to experience the traditions and cultures of the Maasai people.
Rules to follow when visiting Amboseli National Park
- To protect wildlife in the park, there are set rules to be followed and these are;
- Never leave the vehicle, except at designated spots
- Do not harass the animals in any way
- Always keep to the tracks
- No off road driving is allowed
- Always give the animals the right of way, remember this is their habitat
- Visit Kenya’s Amboseli National Park any time of the year, the park is open all year round including public holidays daily from 6:00am to 7:00pm. No entry is allowed on foot and after 6:15pm.